#GOALS: 7 Tips to Help You Create the Ultimate Travel Bucket List

#GOALS: 7 Tips to Help You Create the Ultimate Travel Bucket List

The Bucket List.

The phrase “bucket list” – meaning a list of items you wish to complete before you kick the bucket (die) – was made widely popular in a 2007 film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. In the past decade, the phrase has become such a part of our culture that most people have a bucket list of some sort, even if it only exists in their head.

Most of us make a mental note or say, “I’d like to do that someday,” without giving much thought to creating an actual list. That approach, unfortunately, leaves us with a bucket list that may be incomplete or worse, rather generic. So here are some tips to make your ultimate travel bucket list not just tangible, but achievable.

1. Write it Down…

Bucket List Tips: Write it down.

Study after study has found that written goals are achieved more often than those that are not written down. And what is a bucket list, if it isn’t a list of your goals? Make sure you are keeping a record of your ultimate travel bucket list destinations. Documenting your desired destinations and experiences will ensure that you don’t lose track of any goals over the years.

2. …Or Type It Up

No one said your bucket list has to be on paper. Your bucket list can exist as a note in your phone, a Word document on your computer, or a series of well curated Pinterest boards. Use the system that works best for you.

3. Don’t Limit Yourself

It’s important to remember that a bucket list is a list of possibilities. If you think you would kinda-maybe-sorta enjoy jumping out of a plane and parachuting to the ground, go ahead and put it on your list. Even if you’re unsure whether you will ever be physically fit enough and/or brave enough to actually do it. Even if you won’t be able to afford it until you’re considerably older. Whatever your “even if” scenario may be, add it to the list anyway!

Some of my most rewarding experiences have been when I did something that I was afraid to do or lacked confidence in my ability to accomplish. Sometimes, as Susan Jeffers wrote in her 1987 best-seller, you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.

4. Be Specific & Creative

Ultimate Travel Bucket List Tips - be specific
Image via Flickr by Damian Gadal

I’d like to go to Ireland some day, and visiting that country has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. But a homemade CD of Christmas music that a friend’s husband made many years ago had a song on it that took my interest in Ireland up a notch or two.  The song “Christmas in Killarney” uses such vivid imagery to describe the town during the holidays! It sounded like a beautiful place, so I knew I had to see it… at Christmas, of course. My bucket list doesn’t just include “Ireland.” It says “Christmas in Killarney, Ireland.”

Another example is Italy. To say that I want to visit Italy is a gross understatement, and I would be doing myself a disservice if I included it on my ultimate travel bucket list that way. What I really want to do is:

  • Visit Venice
  • See the Colosseum in Rome
  • Admire the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s Pietà in Vatican City
  • Eat authentic pizza in Naples
  • Stay in a trullo
  • Tour the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Visit Deruta and buy as much majolica as I can (a) afford and (b) legally take home
  • Go to the island of Monte Isola
  • See the ruins of Pompeii

I could go on and on. My point is: why reduce all of those wonderful experiences into a single line on your bucket list? For a truly ultimate travel bucket list, they should be individually named. Include as many details as you can.

Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t.

5. Make it a Work in Progress

Do not under any circumstances put your bucket list in an envelope, stick it in a drawer, and forget about it. Your bucket list should be continuously evolving. Add new places as you think of them (or discover them), and cross off the ones you have visited. You can change your mind about going someplace, too.

Remember: it’s on paper, not carved in stone. So make your ultimate travel bucket list an ever-evolving work that accurately reflects your desires.

6. No Pressure!

How to Create the Ultimate Travel Bucket List: Do not set deadlines for your travel goals.

This one is difficult, especially for the more driven, Type-A personality people.  Avoid attaching deadlines to the items on your bucket list. While it’s okay to assign general priority levels to your travel goals, items on your ultimate travel bucket list should not have specific deadlines. Why? Because life is nothing if not chaotic. You never know when your travel plans may be derailed by illness, injury, or financial adversity. Prioritize which goals are the most important to you and work to achieve them first.

7. The Most Important Tip of All

Once you’ve created your ultimate travel bucket list, there’s one thing left to do: set about making those dreams a reality!  Devise a strategy for achieving those travel goals, one at a time. Save your pennies, plot your course, and go out into the world with the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something of the utmost importance to the only one who really matters: yourself.

 

 

How to Create the Ultimate Travel Bucket List
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7 Tips to Help You Create the Ultimate Travel Bucket List
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7 Tips to Help You Create the Ultimate Travel Bucket List
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Practical tips to help you create the ultimate travel bucket list - and achieve your travel goals!
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Travel As Much
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